Michael Minchew, Fire Chief
Fire Chief Mike Minchew
Fire Chief Mike Minchew began his career with the department in 1995 and has risen through the ranks since then, serving as a firefighter, lieutenant, captain, chief of training and Deputy Chief. He was promoted to Chief in 2013.
Prior to joining the Fire Department as an employee, Minchew served as a junior volunteer for 10 years.
In addition to his on the job experience, Minchew has received numerous certifications and extra training including hazardous materials, CPR and First Aid, Apparatus Operator Pumper, Fire Inspector, Fire Investigator, Hazardous Material Incident Commander, Child Safety Restraint Educator, Alabama Department of Public Safety and Fire Chiefs Executive Development Program, among others.
The Bay Minette native is married to Sonja Minchew and the couple has two sons, Dalton and Joshua.
The Bay Minette Fire Department was founded in 1908 as an all-volunteer department and officially chartered in 1960. Today, the department is staffed with 14 career firefighters, 5 part-time and numerous volunteers who serve 8,500 people living within Bay Minette's city limits and an additional 10,000 citizens living within Bay Minette Fire Department's 82-square mile jurisdiction.
Our most valuable asset is the men and women whom make up the Bay Minette Fire Department. Our firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians and First Responders are out on the frontline, providing you and your loved ones with professional and caring customer service.
The Bay Minette Fire Department has been recognized as one of the best departments in the country by the Insurance Services Organization and has been awarded a Class 4 ISO Public Protection Classification Rating.
The Department responds to an average of 1,850 calls per year and makes an additional 4,000 contacts through its many programs.
The Bay Minette Fire Department takes part in numerous community events to share fire safety tips and other life-saving information. Some of these programs include Vehicle Child Safety Inspections, CPR and First Aid Training, Fire Extinguisher Training, as well as Free Smoke Detector distributions. Our personnel also routinely take its Fire Prevention Education program to area schools, daycares and residences.
The Bay Minette Fire Department received a $1,000 grant from Walmart in 2014 for the purchase of smoke detectors. The grant was written by Firefighter Pate Cardwell as part of the Department’s “Turn Your Attention to Fire Prevention” Campaign.
“Our goal is to make sure every home in the city has at least one working smoke detector,” said Fire Chief Mike Minchew. Fire Department personnel will install the smoke detectors to those in need or individuals can call the Department at 251-580-1617 to request a free smoke detector.
The Department has a 20-foot storage pod stocked with hurricane supplies including sleeping cots, bed covers and hygiene supplies. This will enable the Fire Department to prepare a shelter for approximately 250 people quickly in the event of a disaster. This equipment was provided by the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and Baldwin County EMA.
The Bay Minette Fire Department purchased 45 self-contained breathing apparatuses through an Assistance to Firefighters Grant funded by the US Department of Homeland Security. Firefighters use these devices to enter burning buildings that would be immediately dangerous to life and health.
Bay Minette Fire Department continues to seek grant funding from various sources and has received a number of Assistance to Firefighters Grants to purchase firefighting equipment. The department took possession of a new ladder truck in March 2016 that was purchased with grant funds.
Bay Minette Fire Department wins FEMA grant for new ladder truck
The City of Bay Minette has a new ladder truck thanks to the grant writing skills of the Bay Minette Fire Department personnel. The fire truck was purchased with a FEMA grant for a total of $637,689. The grant funding was 90/10 match requiring the city to pay $32,261 toward the purchase.
Mayor Robert A. “Bob” Wills praised the department staff for all their hard work in acquiring the grant. ”It would have put a significant financial burden on the City if we would have had to purchase this truck outright. Obtaining the grant made it possible,” Wills said. “This is a terrific asset for our City which gives our Fire Department increased capability to serve our citizens.”
The 2016 Farrara Cinder custom 6-man cab fire truck is now in operation and replaces a 1978 fire truck that the Fire Department had in use. The new equipment includes a 77-foot ladder and is lighter and has a shorter turning radius.
Some of its features include a 1,500 gallons per minute pump, 500 gallon water tank, large cab for scene rehab for firefighters, 1500 GMP Elevated Master Stream/Stand Pipe for commercial roof top fires, more storage capacity and it is set-up to assist with technical rescue operations.
Fire Chief Mike Minchew said the new fire truck allows for “more reliable, faster and safer response to large homes or commercial/industrial facilities.” He said it is smaller in size to accommodate residential neighborhoods.
Minchew said other benefits include its lower operating cost, higher pump volume and “set-up time is less than half the time to safely set up and raise the ladder compared to the existing truck.”
Volunteer Fire Departments
These volunteer fire departments are located within our immediate area: